Connecticut Woman Caught On Tape Assaulting Man Over His Flying Drone On Public Beach

article-0-1E95A46B00000578-649_634x358The video below is going viral on the Internet and purportedly shows Andrea Mears, 23, getting interestingly irate over a man flying a drone on a public beach. The beach is reportedly Hammonasset Beach in Madison, Connecticut. She is heard calling the police and objecting to his filming people. She is shown holding the man’s equipment and then the scene turns violent. During the fight, she is quoted as saying “Yeah! That’s what you get you little pervert.” However, it turns out that it would be Mears who would be arrested.

As we have previously discussed, just as citizens have a right to film police in public, they have a right to film other citizens as long as it is not harassing or endangering those citizens.

The woman was eventually arrested according to the PINAC website. She was charged with assault in the third degree and breach of peace.

article-0-1E95C2D000000578-495_306x342What is interesting is that the man (who goes by the web name of “Hogwit”) claims that the woman then accused him of assaulting her and that the police believed her until he was able to show his videotape. Mears is quoted as saying during the fight “Then maybe you shouldn’t be taking pictures of people on the beach! I’m gonna beat your a** you little m*****f*****!” However, Hogwit says that she then claimed it was he who assaulted her. This is from a forum linked by PINAC:

They first listened to her story of lies (she claimed I was taking close ups of people in bikinis, and that she had asked me to stop flying before calling the police, and that I was the one that assaulted her, and and and). The police approached me very aggressively, believing her full story, and before anything else was said I brought up something that she missed… The fact that the cell phone in my hand has a camera…that was recording. I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me.

46 thoughts on “Connecticut Woman Caught On Tape Assaulting Man Over His Flying Drone On Public Beach

  1. Everyone is now the NSA. Those remote control planes/copters are obnoxious as it is with their constant, irritating buzzing noises And while photography may not be a crime, those remote planes can be dangerous if they crash or are handled improperly. I’m not so much concerned with the photography aspect since it’s a public beach, but the remote controlled planes should be banned there for safety reasons.

    Although the woman acted irrationally, I don’t necessarily blame her for being upset. Taking photos of children at a public playground generally would bring a parent’s attention to the ‘photographer,’ but as long as the venue is a public beach and a flying camera then anything goes? Does the less obnoxious public have any rights at public venues, or are public venues to be debased until they are only attractive to the debasing?

  2. The guy was definitely being assaulted. But if he also cried ”help, help, I’m being raped”, would a jury buy it?

  3. There is an art to dealing with cops – a smooth practitioner has an easy time, a bumbler gets hassled.

    One of the skills that one needs nowadays is the ability to manage dealings with cops.

  4. Color me surprised they did not call out a SWAT team and kill him. Must have been a busy day.

  5. The standard used to be that one could photograph most anything but publishing an identifiable image of a person could lead to a law suit, unless the photo were newsworthy.

    In my view, there is a huge difference between a private citizen making images and NSA or the state tracking our movements and activities.

    I may not like being in an individuals photos but I don’t find that particularly threatening.

    The state is an entirely different matter.

  6. Jamie-While I share your concern over private drones (they are creepy as hell), that woman is a disgusting pig. She can be upset about it all she wants, but she showed that she’s a lunatic by: (1) assaulting someone; and (2) lying to the police to save her own ass.

  7. Her stance suggests rickets, which requires a lifetime of malnutrition to achieve. It will likely have effects on the mind as well. Her raw entitlement to take the law into her own hands is as disturbing as the lies she freely tells. So she sounds like any cop these days.

  8. I’m a big believer in the right to photograph police in public while on duty. I’m not as sure that there should not be reasonable limitations on flying drones with cameras taking pictures of private citizens. Of course, the proper response if you believe that is to change the law, not go psycho and assault someone like it appears Ms. Mears did.

  9. One of these days, an assaulted guy should withhold the video until way after he is charged and maybe goes to trial.
    Just to see how far the system would believe a woman’s word over a man’s, and how long the woman would maintain the lie, digging herself deeper on every fact finding hearing. It might also make for better fodder in a lawsuit against the police and false accuser.

  10. It is disturbing that she was not charged with more criminal charges such as lying to police, attempted fraud, etc.. She needs to spend a long time in prison to change her ways and stop using the female privilege of being believed before a man.

  11. Much of this problem w/ photographing in public is generational. When I testified introducing surveillance video @ trials I would always assess the jurors as the tape was played. And, the attorneys would sometimes ask the jurors questions after the trial. Generally, young people grew up w/ the ubiquity of video cameras and are cool w/ it.

  12. So I guess while being anyplace but inside our own home we should behave as if we are being photographed or video taped. If it isn’t the government it’s some creepy jerk. Ain’t it great living in a free country? Privacy? How old fashion.

  13. The issue of innocent – until proven guilty; is an issue for the courts.

    That being said, the rush to judgment by police, without a cursory review of the facts – tends to be inexplicable.

    Irony is the culprit was “caught” by the contraption she vehemently despised;

    now we know why!

  14. carol, If you are in public there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. North Korea and other repressive regimes control photos in public areas. Free societies do not.

  15. carol8;

    One has the right to complain and/or be indignant concerning an activity you find unacceptable; but

    no one has the right to get abusive about such and then lie to officials to cover up their abuse.

  16. Be careful around fat hogs on a public beach. If he said he was flying his model airplane then there would not be this hoopla about “Drones”. The woman is crazy. The question here should be why she is not locked up and evaluated for severe mental illness and put into forced treatment. Phenothiazenes would be a start but shock treatment might be necessary due to her size. Instead of barring people with model airplanes on this beach they should start barring big fat humanoids with attitudes. Particularly in that latitude.

  17. It used to be that a photographer was considered an artist and the images he or she produced were works of art or at least journalistic documentation, depending on the end use. Nobody thought anything bad about a photographer taking pictures of people in public. It was (and still is) perfectly legal. A photo of an identifiable private individual needed permission in the form of a written or verbal release for the photo to be published (without potential liability), but a photo of a crowd could be published without one. The only people who would object to having their picture taken were those who were cheating on their spouses and didn’t want to be inadvertently recognized, or something similar, for example. Photographers were assumed to have legitimate purposes.

    Today, with the wide availability of cheap digital cameras and image capture devices in almost every cellphone, people are taking photos everywhere at just about anytime. Even professional photographers are not given the respect and latitude they once received, and mere hobbyist photographers are suspected of pursuing their images with immoral, unethical, or illegal intent. A good photo of children at play can be a thing of beauty that everyone would enjoy, but now needs to be created only within a staged private setting. Someone taking photos of children in a public environment is automatically considered a pervert or a pedophile in this current sick society. Because of this, I have limited my work to nature and wildlife photography these days. Nobody (yet) accuses an old man of having vile reasons for shooting images of beautiful scenery and wild animals, and I have a lot more fun doing it than taking pictures of people.

  18. Tyler, Media has gone from informing people to scaring the bejesus out of them. Crime, weather, natural disasters, etc. The weather channel is one of the worst. People need to turn off the tube, get of their fat asses, and enjoy life, not live in fear of it.

  19. The really sad part is the comment by Carol8: “If it isn’t the government it’s some creepy jerk.” Whoa there! Since when is a guy playing with his toy on a public beach automatically assumed to be a “creepy jerk”???

    Trash television has obviously been shaping public attitudes. And Ms Mears is not very bright either. Bring the two together, and you have a general public that doesn’t know what to think.

    By the way, the guy says on his blog that he is respectful of what he is filming and his altitude while doing it. Plus, the cops told him he can come back any time. Puts a different spin on the story, eh?

  20. Crazy… Now to everyone here who has issues with these UAV’s, they may be dangerous if improperly used like anything else. You can use a knife to cut your steak at dinner or to stab someone. How you use something is what matters. Although I agree some people are reckless, they should only be punished if they cause damage to property or person. This is the same with driving a car for example. Stop trying to control people and take away their freedoms! Maybe you should learn more about these UAV’s, maybe speak to the person using them and see if they are competent. Now if you feel they are flying irresponsibly still after you speak to them and made your concerns known, why not call 911 and report them for reckless endangerment, the same as if someone was driving their car recklessly…
    I can tell you I have over 2 decades of experience, I am also an engineer, and if you do things the right way the danger is close to non existent. Sure something can always go wrong, but you could also blow out a tire on your car and lose control of it.
    I try to educate people on Rc and UAV’s and try teach so that we can prevent irresponsible flying. I hope that people here can open their minds and remember our rights and freedoms so that we can all work together.

  21. Hear hear! In the Philippines you get a fork and a spoon, almost never a knife to eat your meal. Expect its a throwback to the military law days, just as they still have manned checkpoints all over the place, even if they don’t stop you most of the time. You’ll have to define UAVs for me or what it stands for, but its presumably a drone. I saw my first private drone a few days ago in Moab. It was very exciting. Lets be laisez faire about this and only curb wrongdoers. The fun was taken out of motor cycle riding in California when the helmet law came in. Too many laws takes the fun out of everything!

  22. Looked up the guy’s channel, this is what he shoots with his drone

    Oh the humanity! How are we supposed to feel secure when people can record video of public areas! I mean sure, you can’t really identify anyone from that far up, but this guy clearly gets his rocks off by taking distant video of the tops of people’s heads. Their ought to be a law!

  23. I might feel differently if this were the state collecting information. Unlike some, I feel the state should have specific, identifiable reasons for collecting any information about anyone.

    But if this is supposed to reflect the threat of individuals videoing private citizens in plain view in public areas then excuse me but I think I am going to go take a nap.

  24. Wow! That thing appeared to go quite high really quickly for a model quadracopter! And the video seemed to be excellent, too.

    Liz, when the government starts passing laws against this sort of thing, it probably won’t be long until your favorite hobby is outlawed as well. And if private “drones” are outlawed, the government’s drones certainly won’t be, and everyone should be far more afraid of them.

    Funny, too, how people can be so upset over a video made by an individual with a tiny but highly visible quadracopter, and yet not be absolutely outraged by the massive illegal and secret spying on every citizen in the country by a government agency like the NSA!

  25. Tyger Gilbert
    Funny, too, how people can be so upset over a video made by an individual with a tiny but highly visible quadracopter, and yet not be absolutely outraged by the massive illegal and secret spying on every citizen in the country by a government agency like the NSA!
    = = =
    Yes, it is interesting. The “Good Americans” know their patriotic place in this society… OBEY! Her ‘two minute hate’ outburst…

  26. While the law may be of his side, the law clearly must be amended. But it always amazes me, but shouldn’t, the amount of gleeful gendered violence that is recommended on this site, even though compared to others, it is relatively benign.

  27. I have watched this with an enterprising mind. There is a way that the quadcopter could be used to make a lot of money in entertainment. No, it has noting to do with sex.

  28. I think photographing people in public places is tricky. Candid shots of people on the street are interesting but people get annoyed when they get photographed on the street. Maybe the right approach is to ask first.

  29. That would be a good and civil standard to keep. And respectful of our fellow citizens.
    The problem is when our overlords set such a bad example, so as to do exactly what you say we shouldn’t do, film people 24/7 in public without asking, it kinda undoes the whole civility, respect for privacy in public, concept.
    Unless of course you think it is just fine for the government to do it, but not private citizens.

  30. Not a medical term, but we always called it “knock-kneed”, because your knees would knock together when you walked. I rode horses a lot when I was young, and I was so bow-legged that I couldn’t put my knees together when I stood straight. That went away years later when I didn’t ride so much.

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